Question about Mokala National park

Hi everyone who has been to Mokala National park in-between two nights at Marrick,

I have a question about Roan and Sable antelopes:

So here’s the deal – my mom wants us to wake up around 7 at Marrick, have a “leuisurely” breakfast and then arrive at Mokala around 10am. Then of course in order to be back for dinner and night drive at Marrick, we would have to leave Mokala by 4:30pm (16:30). Would this give us a good shot at seeing both of those antelopes, or should I insist on trying to get there earlier? How easy is it to find both of those species in Mokala over a 6-hour stay?

Note that I have to “choose my battles” because we’re waking up super early 5 days in a row in Kruger, 1 day in Pilanesberg, and 1 day at West Coast.. (I’m also going to be waking up super early at De Hoop but the rest of the family can sleep in until I come back for breakfast)

Any pro-s and cons for getting there earlier or not having to will be highly welcomed!
Thanks in advance!!


  • Maurice Tijm

    Hi Tomer,

    I think your best bet at Mokala is to take a private game drive. The guides know where these species hang out (they visit water holes) and take you to tracks you can’t visit with your own vehicle. I wasn’t there early and it still worked out great. We took the game drive from the southern camp, but the species are present around both camps. Just discuss with the guide before heading out and be clear about your very specific targets.

    Have a great time!


  • Richard Webb

    Tomer, both species are introduced there and it is outside their natural range so it is debatable whether they are countable anyway! Given this it could be argued that the ones that have recently been introduced at Marrick would be equally countable. You can also see them at Bonnievale Game Reserve NE of Kimberley.

    If you are going to Kruger wild Sable can often be seen on the drive from Satara to Skukuza via the back road. I forget the number. I’ve also seen quite a few in Pilanesberg a few years ago.


  • Tomeslice

    Thank you both for the replies!

    Sounds like a super early day won’t be necessary. Richard, they were introduced and not re-introduced? Oh well, they’re nice animals to see… Even if I can’t “count” them on the official animal list.

    I have been keeping track of recent sightings of Sable in Kruger, which were seen frequently for a while on the Sabie river road around H-12 bridge but that while ended a few weeks ago. They’re also seen sometimes at the Shitlhave water hole, and on the doispane road. There was one seen there again today.
    The “back road” you speak of is going to be relevant for us, as we’re driving from Satara to Skukuza on our 3rd day in Kruger. I just looked at the map and I couldn’t tell exactly which road you were referring to. If it comes to you, I’d be happy to hear about it!

    Note that Jaco from pilanesberg says there are very few if any Sable left in the park and that the population is not viable.. That’s the last (sad) news regarding that situation.. Lol.

    Thanks again!

  • mattinidaho

    I do not think you will have a problem finding these animals, even with a late start and even if you don’t take a national park safari. We went on our own and actually found both sable and roan mid-day.

    The national park staff pointed us to the pan near Lilydale Camp as the best spot for both of these animals. And indeed, that is where we found them. You have to check in at Lilydale, and it’s near the park entrance, so you will be going by there soon after you get there.

    The pan has a viewing platform and we saw both species near there, as well as tsessebee, Cape buffalo, the “quagga”-like zebras, etc. It is a nice spot. Sit for a bit and watch. Check out other areas along that track. You should find them.

    We did not see roan or sable at Marrick.

    From my perspective, Mokala was a very enjoyable park to visit. It was very uncrowded. Our drives felt relaxed, just cruising along spotting ungulates. Getting a late start will not impede you at all.

  • tomeslice

    Cool! Thanks Matt.
    Hence my mom wins this one.. Leisurely breakfast and then drive to Mokala, then ask about Roan and Sable.
    I think they introduced Roan to Marrick, not sure about Sable. Trevor has been posting pictures of Roans from his property this week. I thought wild individuals just “stumbled” in, same as happens sometimes in Manyara Ranch, where rare antelopes which generally occur elsewhere may stumble in once every few years. But I’m guessing it’s not the case here 🙂


  • Richard Webb

    Sable were introduced to Marrick last year and Roan earlier this year. I saw both in July but the ear-tags on some of them are quite off-putting.

    The back road in Kruger was the S36 particularly the water holes in the vicinity of Imbali Lodge. It was however a few years ago.


  • tomeslice

    Thank you Richard!!
    I will give it a chance when I’m there as well as keep following the latest sightings on Kruger. There were two groups of sable sighted yesterday! And a roan, but further north where I won’t be visiting.

    BTW – here’s a question to everyone: on the day between my two nights at Satara, should I drive back west towards orpen then loop around through smaller roads on the way back? Or drive north towards olifants and back? Or south towards tshokwane and back, even though that’s what I’m doing the next day? Keep in mind my biggest targets for Kruger are wild dogs (which I know are more likely around Skukuza) and serval. (also honey badger inside Satara and Civet on night drives)

    Thanks again!!

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